In 1977, Leonidas Benesa wrote about Joya’s “…role as the outstanding ‘exponent of pure painting’….”
“…From 1964 on through the next …it was Joya who stood out as the country’s foremost abstractionist…”
Yet as the decades passed the Filipino in him emerged, or “…came back with a kind of painting that appeared to be a regrouping of his abstract masses, a retrenchment of the (New York) sensibility in favor of order and balance…”
Joya’s abstraction is more of a painting of ideas, even forces, than reality. Here, Joya in the seventies creates via painting an epic of existence itself. Joya’s art leaves a wide margin for the elusive and implicit, and the peripheral and while it has remained predominantly abstract, it probes the emotional significations of color for capturing moods, nuances for feeling, and inner states.